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IFLS Newsflashes, a newsletter for west-central Wisconsin library professionals

September 2019

Open book with glasses on top

In This Issue

  1. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library - WLA Library of the Year
  2. Trustee Training and Resources
  3. Wisconsin German History Exhibit
  4. WLA Conference Registration Open
  5. CCBC Helps Find Diverse Books
  6. Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information
  7. Federal Library Grant Programs
  8. LSLS 2020 Mid-Winter Unsymposium
  9. WWI: Lessons and Legacies
  10. Calendar and Continuing Education

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library - WLA Library of the Year

The Wisconsin Library Association is pleased to announce the 2019 Awards & Honors Winners, selected for their outstanding contributions to libraries and librarianship. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire was named Library of the Year!

With customers, governing body and staff in mind, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library continually seeks to promote lifelong learning, create collaborative spaces and support open access to diverse materials and resources that enhance the quality of life in the community. Recent years have seen a renaissance in the library, with a renewed commitment to retain and increase direct relevancy for our users through progressive policies, innovative services and enhanced collections. The library created new staff positions to serve vulnerable populations, put books on city buses, created digital access to local music and so much more! The dedication to excellence is also apparent in employee retention; half of their staff has been employed at the library for more than 10 years.

The Wisconsin Library Association congratulates each winner and will celebrate their accomplishments at the 2019 Annual Conference at the Kalahari Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. An Awards & Honors Reception will take place on Thursday, October 10th from 5:30-7:00 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.
The WLA Awards program is supported by the WLA Foundation, through individual charitable contributions, and through the generous support of EBSCO.  WLA engages, inspires and advocates for library workers and supporters to improve and promote library services for the people of Wisconsin.  The awards program is one way the association acknowledges the dedication of its members to provide exemplary library service.

Congratulations L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library!

WLA Awards & Honors, August 29, 2019

Trustee Training and Resources

There were some excellent webinars for library trustees during Trustee Training Week earlier this month.  Now the webinars are available as recordings, and they have been captioned for greater accessibility.  The IFLS website has some resources to delve into these topics even further.
  • Governing Libraries that Inspire Investment with Rebekah Smith Aldrich recording
               Rebekah talks about libraries helping communities with civic dialogue. 
               Check out the IFLS resource about Civic Labs
  • Free Is Key:  Ensuring Your Library Is Meeting Its Mission with Dawn Wacek recording
               Check out the IFLS resources about poverty
  • Effective Library Advocacy with Connie Meyer and Kathy Pletcher recording
               Check out the IFLS resources about advocacy
  • What Does Inclusivity Look Like at Your Library with Shauna Koszegi recording
               Check out the IFLS resources on accessibility and inclusivity
  • Recruiting and Retaining Library Directors and Staff with Pat Wagner recording
               Check out IFLS resources on hiring a director
In addition, we invite trustees to join us for a Trustee Essentials workshop with our own IFLS Director John Thompson. 

Tuesday, October 22, 6-8 pm           G.E. Bleskacek Public Library, Bloomer (register by 10/17)
Thursday, October 24, 6-8 pm          Hazel Mackin Public Library, Roberts  (register by 10/17)
Wednesday, October 30, 6-8 pm      Amery Public Library  (register by 10/25)
Thursday, November 7, 6-8 pm         Durand Community Library (register by 11/1)
Leah Langby, Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator
Wisconsin German History Exhibit posters

Wisconsin German History Exhibit

The WI German Experience History Exhibit is a traveling exhibit that will be at our library until September 30. From here it goes on to the Kiel Public Library and before it came to us, it was at the Marathon County Library. 
On September 28 the Professor of German American Studies, Mark Louden, will be presenting at 11am followed by a German inspired luncheon hosted by my Friends group and featuring homemade buns, brats, sauerkraut and root beer. :) 
The exhibit and speaker are all grant funded from the WI Humanities Council. 
Libraries interested in hosting the exhibit should contact Antje Petty at the Max Kade Institute: or to visit

Rebecca Dodge, Library Director
Spring Valley Public Library 

WLA Conference Registration Open

Registration for WLA 2019 in Wisconsin Dells is NOW OPEN! 
Connect, learn, tour circus world... Plan your conference stay now!
Register for the conference using the online form or printable form. Make your plans early, early bird special rates end September 16th.
Find information on sessions, events, and after hours activities on the WLA Conference webpage.
Read on for details on how to win a hotel room upgrade when you reserve a room at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells...
Registration highlights:
Request to be matched with a Conference Connector or  volunteer to be a Conference Connector.
Register for the free preconference: “So You Want To  Talk About Race” with Ijeoma Oluo. Space is limited!
Browse the full list of programs and featured speakers to plan your conference stay.  Pssst! The WLA Conference Committee is developing an app to make your conference experience a breeze. Stay tuned…
Join us for fun local events!, including
Tour of the Circus World's Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center
Tour of the Devil's Lake Lavender Farm and Lunch
Upper Dells Boat Tour 
Hotel Room Upgrade Drawing
Register before the early bird deadline of September 16 AND book your room at the Kalahari Resort and you are AUTOMATICALLY entered into a drawing to receive a FREE ROOM UPGRADE for the entirety of your stay on the conference dates! Don't wait, get your name in the hat now!
Book your hotel room: 
Register for the Conference & activities: 
Your WLA Conference Committee
Wisconsin Library Association Conference Logo for 2019

Childrens Cooperative Book Center Helps Find Diverse Books

Since 1985, the Children’s Cooperative Book Center (CCBC) has documented statistics on multicultural literature in publishing. The CCBC is a noncirculating research library for anyone interested in children’s and young adult literature. They receive almost every children’s and young adult book from the publishing industry in the United States each year and have seen the numbers for books by and about people of color grow, although that growth remains a very small percentage of all published books.

diversity in books for children and teens
Diversity in Books for Children and Teens by the numbers.

The CCBC defines multicultural literature as “books by and about people of color and First/Nation Nations,” (CCBC n.d.). The work documenting the statistics began based on a phone call and an awards committee many years ago.

In the early 1980s, the CCBC received a call from a librarian of a Milwaukee school who had just completed an assessment of the library collection and noticed that a lot of the books that were about African Americans were old or falling apart. Kathleen Horning, the current director of the CCBC remembers the librarian calling to ask for assistance in finding more books. “We noticed there just weren’t many,” Horning said. “I especially remember looking in the subject guide that year and found half a column of books about African Americans, as compared to pages and pages of books about bears.”

Near the same time, Horning’s predecessor, Ginny Moore Kruse was invited to serve on the Corretta Scott King Award committee for books by and about African Americans. Because she was on the committee, she knew exactly how many books were eligible that year, and was quite surprised to see that of about 2500 books, only 18 were by black authors, and only 12 were about African American people.

They were so surprised by the statistic they decided to document that number by printing it in the introduction to CCBC Choices, which is their annual list of the best children’s and young adult books. “It had an impact,” Horning said. “People knew there weren’t that many but didn’t know it was that few. The people who weren't surprised were African American teachers and parents.”

Shortly after they started publishing the statistics, USA Today did a story on how hard it was for African American parents to find books for their children. That story led to a flurry of publications calling the CCBC for interviews. Roughly five years later, they decided to keep other statistics too, including books by and about Latinx, Asian, and First/Native Nations people.

The CCBC has become a strong advocate of multicultural literature, publishing two volumes of recommended literature for children and young adults to help teachers and librarians to find books, numerous bibliographies and book lists on various topics and for different ages, and the annual CCBC Choices.

Their work has made an impact on the publishing industry. According to Horning, “for a while, we would see those numbers go up, but about 20 years ago, it flatlined. Until about five years ago, we noticed a real change in things that still hasn’t died down. We started seeing a welcome increase in the books. Initially, it was an increase in books about people of color and not by, but in the last two years, we’ve seen more books by,” she said.

Over the years, librarians at the CCBC have received more detailed questions regarding the books they get, like how many of the books overall deal with contemporary African American children and how many are historical; or what types of characters were actually in the books, since many books do not have people as subjects (i.e. animal characters or paranormal characters). So they decided to conduct a pilot of the picture books to discover in detail what they are about.

They not only logged information about the picture books, but kept a spreadsheet documenting the species, genre, whether the books featured characters of color in the background, a child with a disability, a visible religious minority, and other topics. Horning said, “we started keeping those statistics and they revealed interesting things like the number of picture books with animals far outnumbered picture books with children of color. Most of the animal characters were male--little things like that.”

In 2018, the CCBC received grant funding through The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to build a database with all of this information for those doing research on such topics. Public release of the database is expected later this fall.

The impact of all of this information has ranged from people having their suspicions about what was being published in children’s and young adult literature confirmed, to helping motivate some publishers who really want to try to make a change. Although change in the publishing industry is slow, Horning noted that the advent of We Need Diverse Books has made a lasting impression.

When asked to share something that surprised her over all of the years she has conducted this work, Horning said, “One of the most challenging parts of advocacy we have to do is convincing white teachers and librarians why it makes a difference to children to have diverse books. People do seem to get that children of color need to see themselves in books, but also the fact that it can’t be just any book-- it needs to be an authentic portrayal. For teachers or librarians who say ‘we don't have any children of color at our school or library so we don't need diverse books,’ those white children need diversity in their books if they don't see diversity in other places. Books are one of the ways they can be exposed to the world and people who are different.

If a teacher or librarian wants to learn more, they can start by looking at the books on the CCBC bibliographies and booklists, in CCBC Choices, and the book awards lists. Reading some of the books will help develop a good knowledge base, and, according to Horning, “they can start to find when something doesn’t seem authentic-- start to get a gut feeling about it and realize it doesn’t seem like those they've read.”

DPI ConnectEd, August 20, 2019

Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information

When public library staff assist patrons seeking information on health and medical topics, Wikipedia may not be the first place they go. However, as a free and readily accessible encyclopedia, Wikipedia is among the largest and most frequently used online references for health and medical information seekers, not just for patients and their families and friends, but also for doctors, medical students, and policy makers. Knowledge of the inner workings of Wikipedia can help library staff critically evaluate and search this free resource.

WebJunction, with support from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, will offer Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information, a four-week, online, instructor-led course that will demonstrate how and why Wikipedia’s health and medical information is relevant to libraries and their communities.

The free course will be offered live online during October 2019, and enrollment is now open to anyone who works or volunteers in a US public library and wishes to expand their skills in using and evaluating medical information and resources found in Wikipedia articles. To learn more about the upcoming course, access the archived informational webinar and visit the course FAQs.

WebJunction, August 7, 2019

Federal Library Grant Programs

National Leadership, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Programs proposals being solicited by the IMLS

Late last month, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced their next invitation for library grant proposals. The grants fall under two Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) programs, the National Leadership Grants for Librariesand the Laura Bush 21st Century Leadership program (LB21). 
IMLS held an informational webinar about the two programs on August 7. A recording of the webinar, and a link to the slides used are archived here. Whereas the National Leadership Grants program is established to support projects that enhance the quality of library and archives services nationwide by advancing theory and practice, the LB21 program supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public in three ways:
  • enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals,
  • developing faculty and library leaders,
  • and recruiting and educating the next generation of library and archives professionals.
Applications in either program must designate one of the following project categories:
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Community Catalysts
  • National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives
The application process for the LB21 program has two phases. In the first phase (Preliminary Proposal phase), all applicants must submit a two-page preliminary proposal by the deadline listed above. Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals in the second phase (Invited Full Proposal phase) of the process. Only invited full proposals will be considered for funding. Invited full proposals will be due March 30, 2020.

Funding ranges from planning grants, at up to $100,000, with no match required, to $1 million for full project grants, with a 1:1 cost-share requirement (however, research grants up to $1 million do not require a cost-share).

Need some help getting your head around the IMLS grant process, and how grants are awarded? IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew provided an explanation of their context in her recent blog post, Grantmaking Across the Spectrum of Innovation. Rather than relying only on the trendy novelties, Dr. Matthew refers to four tried-and-true principles that can help to frame and support a worthy grant proposal: 
  • Exploratory: You have a new, not well-defined idea to explore
  • Piloting: You have a promising approach and want to conduct a pilot to test your assumptions and better understand how the approach works
  • Scaling: You have a valid approach with well-understood users, and now you want to test it more broadly
  • Enhancing: There is a well-established, widely used practice or technology, and you want to find out whether there is a need to enhance or rethink it
If you decide to develop and submit a grant proposal to the IMLS, be sure to rely on their resources. Besides the grant guidelines and requirements, take a look at past successful projects, and contact the IMLS consultants who are assigned to each category. Good luck!

Written by John DeBacher, Public Library Development
WI Libraries For Everyone, August 20, 2019


LSLS 2020 Mid-Winter Unsymposium

Save the date for the 8th Annual Lake Superior Libraries Mid-Winter Unsymposium at the Superior Public Library! Join us on January 10th, 2020, for an afternoon of networking, discussion, and collaborative problem-solving!
Sometimes you need a break from the average conference: you need an UNCONFERENCE! At the LSLS Unsymposium, you determine the conversation. Participants brainstorm a host of topics, which are then selected in a bottom-up, democratic manner. Rather than listening to a single speaker, you get to ask questions, interact, and offer your own expertise on a topic chosen by the whole group. So...everyone wants to talk about diversity in collection development? Done. You’re the only one who wants to talk about library-themed cupcakes? Maybe we’ll talk about them next time! Together, we’ll discover our common challenges and develop solutions collaboratively. You'll come away from the Unsymposium invigorated by lively discussions and ready to take that excitement back to your library.
The Unsymposium is free and open to everyone. 
  • WHEN:  1:00-4:30 pm, Friday, January 10th, 2020
  • COST:  Just your time!
  • WHERE:  Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Avenue, Superior, WI
  • HOW DO I REGISTER?: Check back soon!
QUESTIONS? Contact us!  
Leslie Mehle, Adult Programming Librarian
Superior Public Library

WW1: Lessons and Legacies- Free Poster Exhibition Available to Libraries

World War I: Lessons
 and Legacies. Free Smithsonian poster exhibition available to libraries! Register
The Smithsonian Institution is offering a free poster exhibition to libraries. Request your posters now!
 World War I: Lessons and Legacies  

A poster exhibition for libraries
Posters are available while supplies last. The deadline for requests is Sept. 13, 2019.
The opportunity is available to all types of libraries (e.g., public, school, college/university and special libraries).
Participating libraries will receive, free of charge:
  • Collection of eight 18” x 26” posters
  • Digital World War I: Lessons and Legacies Educators Guide with discussion questions and resources that align to national teaching standards
  • Detailed Poster Handbook and User Guide, with display instructions and promotional resources
Available exclusively to libraries of all types, World War I: Lessons and Legacies explores the history of World War I and its lasting impact on American life.
Sparked by the assassination of one man, the war eventually included the forces of the world's major industrial powers (over 18 countries in all) and led to pivotal changes in America’s culture, technology, economy and role in the world.
World War I: Lessons and Legacies is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Museum of American History, with funding from The United States World War I Centennial Commission and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

ALA Public Programs Office, August 22, 2019

Calendar and Continuing Education

In the past we have included a list of upcoming events and know you are used to seeing that, but we have a better solution that will keep you up-to-date.

Here is a link to our new calendar on the IFLS website.

Go here to get more information about IFLS meetings and workshops including Interlibrary Loan Updates, Youth Services, and Trustee Essentials.
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